Tuesday, 19 April 2011

The Third Circle of LOL

I'm kind of particular about the use of LOL - I only ever use it when I actually laugh out loud at something. Which is rare. Really rare. Why don't I laugh out loud that much? Do other people? I get the impression that most people laugh a lot more than me, to be honest. Which started me thinking about comedy in general and what it means to me and my fellow hu-mans. So I thought I'd attempt to distil into a short blog post. Ambitious. OK, you've put up with my rambling intro- prepare for it to be focused into a tight laser beam of text. Right...now...

I love comedy. Love talking about it. Love finding new funny films, shows, stand ups and clips online. I spend a lot of time looking for things that will specifically make me laugh but I often turn my nose up at most of the crap I find. Though even the good things, that I enjoy, don't often make me properly laugh. A recent example would be 'Limmy's Show', which is great. Really smart, creative and doing something genuinely interesting in the medium. I like it a lot. Did it make me laugh? Nope. Raised a few smiles, and the occasional snort, but it didn't make me actually laugh. I would absolutely say that I enjoyed it, but I can't shake the feeling that something I regard as good comedy really should though.

You know, the last show that made me properly roar with laughter is, and this is going back a bit here, Bottom. Now that's probably as much a reflection on my age at the time and when it came out, but that show would have me in tears. Considering this and my fondness for Jackass, I think it's physical comedy that really makes me laugh. Which obviously I baulk at, considering my pretentious 'The best comedy is well written comedy' ideals, but they're hilarious to me. I have no doubt that all of you have something that you find funny that you're kind of ashamed of too though. Like my relationship with 'You Don't Mess With The Zohan.' (It's a GREAT film!).

I guess this just speaks of how subjective comedy is. I love to recommend any number of things to people. It's a big part of the reason I spend so much time looking for new music, films, comics etc. But comedy? Very hard to recommend to people. I always find it so difficult to judge what an individual would find funny. I think that the majority of my friends would be surprised at the terrible shit that really tickles my black heart. It's the same for everyone I'd imagine.

Finding new comedy is vital for me though. I love to laugh and I'm always trying to find something that'll properly slay me, it's just that so few things do. Recently, one of my students was goose stepping about class in a pair of slipper/flip flop things when she kicked too hard and one of her slippers flew off, hit the wall and landed neatly in the bin. I roared with laugher. So since then, they've been trying to recreate it. But it's not the same. Which I think neatly sums up why I don't LOL too often- unlike most other entertainment, it can never be as good the second time around. In fact, for me, most comedy even struggles on it's first pass.


  1. My mate and I were dabbling in a bit of comedy writing years ago and he'd read somewhere that you should never underestimate the power of slapstick to get a laugh. It seems like a low form of humour but that shit works, it's a reliable go-to aspect of comedy. So we inserted some slapstick into something that was conceived as quite dialogue driven and it improved it instantly.

    Oh, and get what you mean on the subjective part.
    Zohan? GTFO......(and I sincerely wish for you to get the fuck out with that film.)

  2. You've answered you're own question dude, people generally laugh out loud as a shock reaction, usually either the shock of an unexpected physical act or the shock of a hitherto unrealised mental connection.
    You don't laugh out loud at Limmy as you admire it, admire the originality and the plain nerve taken to make it. Very little shocking in it.

  3. I think that's one of the reasons I wasn't going to put this up as it felt quite circular. But thought-provoking, maybe. I hope. Hadn't really thought about it in terms of shock actually. But I guess that is what comedy boils down to in the end.

    And David, yes, slapstick done well really is my favourite form of comedy. That and Zohan.